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Glitch (Glitch Series #1)

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Overview

In the Community, there is no more pain or war. Implanted computer chips have wiped humanity clean of destructive emotions, and thoughts are replaced by a feed from the Link network.

When Zoe starts to malfunction (or "glitch"), she suddenly begins having her own thoughts, feelings, and identity. Any anomalies must be immediately reported and repaired, but Zoe has a secret so dark it will mean certain deactivation if she is caught: her glitches...

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Glitch (Glitch Series #1)

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Overview

In the Community, there is no more pain or war. Implanted computer chips have wiped humanity clean of destructive emotions, and thoughts are replaced by a feed from the Link network.

When Zoe starts to malfunction (or "glitch"), she suddenly begins having her own thoughts, feelings, and identity. Any anomalies must be immediately reported and repaired, but Zoe has a secret so dark it will mean certain deactivation if she is caught: her glitches have given her uncontrollable telekinetic powers.

As Zoe struggles to control her abilities and stay hidden, she meets other glitchers including Max, who can disguise his appearance, and Adrien, who has visions of the future. Together, this growing band of glitchers must find a way to free themselves from the controlling hands of the Community before they’re caught and deactivated, or worse.

In Heather Anastasiu's action-packed debut, Glitch begins an exciting new young adult trilogy.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Zoe, 17, lives in the Community, an underground civilization where everyone has computer chips in their brains that connect them to the Link network, dull their emotions, and turn them into drones that shuffle through their literally gray lives. But Zoe is glitching—suffering disconnects from the Link that allow her to experience color, feelings, and free thought. She knows it’s her duty to report herself as anomalous, yet she’s enjoying the new sensations, and her rewired brain has an added bonus: telekinesis. While struggling to remain hidden so she won’t be “fixed,” Zoe meets other glitchers with special powers and learns about the Resistance, which wants to free the human race from its self-imposed slavery. Anastasiu’s debut is a taut and twisty drama, and her planned trilogy holds promise, but the mix of the possible and technologically implausible may read like handwaving to diehard SF readers. Characterizations are also a bit thin: Zoe is a compassionate but passive heroine, and the realistically self-centered melodrama of teenagers feeling hormones for the first time substitutes for more complex personalities. Ages 13–up. Agent: Charlie Olsen, Inkwell Management. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
"A taut and twisty novel." —Publishers Weekly

"An instantly involving page-turner...sure to have readers clamoring for the next book." —Booklist 

"A taut, irresistible novel, Glitch delivers a pitch-perfect blend of action, romance, and twists that take your breath away." —Andrea Cremer, New York Times bestselling author of the Nightshade series

“GLITCH kept me up long past bedtime with its quick pace, wonderfully creepy technology, and a frighteningly believable world. Fans of dystopian novels will love this delightful debut.”–Jodi Meadows, author of Incarnate

"Glitch is full of twists that will make you think right is wrong and up is down, not to mention keep you guessing until the very last page. A thoroughly enjoyable read, with a world that is both frightening and intriguing, and a romance that will leave readers breathless." —Elana Johnson, author of Possession

VOYA - Cheryl Clark
In the Community, the world is a drab, gray place. There are no colors, no emotions, no personal ties, not even between parents and children. Computer chips embedded directly into people's brains keep them obedient, that is, until the kids begin to glitch. When Zoe's hardware malfunctions, she begins to experience the vitality of life. She also discovers that she has a strange, dangerous talent. As she explores a new world she has never known before, she meets fellow glitchers, and they band together to break free from the Community. However, their newfound passions threaten to break them apart before they can even begin to understand what it means to be human. The phenomenon that is The Hunger Games has spawned a slew of young adult dystopian novels, and Glitch follows suit. Not exciting as The Hunger Games, Glitch is nevertheless a solid read. The novel does get bogged down slightly by a love triangle subplot, but just when it seems the novel will become mired in cliche plot lines, Anastasiu tosses in a thrilling sequence to re-hook readers. Young readers will identify with the characters, who are grappling with feelings they have never known before, and no doubt they will find it interesting that in a story in which teenagers are fighting for the right to their own emotions, it is one of those very emotions—the insane jealousy of Zoe's would-be suitor—that becomes their chief adversary. Science fiction buffs will find Glitch satisfactory, although not exactly electrifying. Reviewer: Cheryl Clark
Kirkus Reviews
A dystopian romance that feels like the love child of M.T. Anderson's Feed and Lauren Oliver's Pandemonium fails to distinguish itself. Seventeen-year-old Zoe is part of a "superior" race of humans that exist in an underground dystopian world, safe from the toxic ruin on the Surface. Like all members of the Community, Zoe was implanted with a computer chip to prevent her from experiencing the caustic influences of emotion and desire, the very things that led to the destruction of the Old World. The only problem is, Zoe's chip isn't working. Anastasiu's debut novel follows Zoe as she learns to trust her own thoughts and emotions and to call into question the only way of life she's ever known. It's an interesting premise, and Zoe is a likable-enough narrator, but in the end, the story never quite lives up to its potential. Action dominates, crowding out opportunities for character development. With little interaction between Zoe and fellow glitchers Max and Adrien to explain the sudden intensity of their feelings for one another, the emotions ring untrue. Additionally, Max is never allowed room to convince readers he is more than a raging ball of hormones, making it difficult to root for him in the fight for Zoe. Read the originals. (Dystopian romance. 14 & up)
School Library Journal
Gr 7–9—"Order first, order always" are the words Zoel's community lives by. Driven underground after a nuclear event, she lives in close quarters with her parents and brother, Markan. The fact that everyone is Linked lends precision and predictability to their lives, but the Link dulls the senses, rendering the world in shades of gray and making interactions almost robotic. Militaristic rule and "Was the tutoring session productive?" have replaced self-direction and words like "happy," "sad," "lonely," "angry," and "afraid." When Zoel starts glitching (malfunctioning), she becomes disconnected from the Link and finds that she likes the bright colors and most of the honest feelings that come over her, despite the fact that water occasionally leaks from her eyes. She meets Adrien, a member of the Resistance, and goes with him aboveground, which isn't poisonous after all. It's where the Uppers live in relative comfort, using the Linked population as drones. Zoel christens her new glitching self as Zoe and finds that most glitchers have gifts ranging from telekinesis to future sight to shape-shifting. Zoe has to decide whether to take the advice to put herself first or try to make a better world for everyone. Some of the characters are woefully underdeveloped, and a surprise pregnancy seems totally unrealistic. Still, this is one of many decent dystopian novels in print right now. While it offers nothing new, it is a solid read for libraries needing more stories of overbearing governments trying to regulate citizens' emotions.Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TX
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781250002990
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 8/7/2012
  • Series: Glitch Series , #1
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 115,219
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.54 (w) x 8.04 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Meet the Author

HEATHER ANASTASIU grew up in Texas and now lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her husband and young son. She spends most days most days writing at a coffee shop or daydreaming about getting a new tattoo.

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Read an Excerpt

Glitch


By Heather Anastasiu

St. Martin's Griffin

Copyright © 2012 Heather Anastasiu
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9781250002990

Chapter 1
 
 
I FELT IT COMING THIS TIME. I shoved my drawings into the hidden slit I’d made in the back of my mattress, then grabbed the metal bed frame to steady myself as my brain suddenly jolted back into connection with the Link.
The retina display flickered into view and scrolled a chatter of data at the edges of my field of vision. Auditory inputs clicked back online too, a slight hum in the background. One by one, each of my senses dimmed, replacing my connection to the physical world with the connection to the Link. In a blink, the small bit of color in my room seeped away to a monotone gray. I inhaled deeply and tried to hold on to the smell of my small concrete quarters—antiseptic and dust—but they, too, were lost by my next breath.
Panic gripped my chest as I drowned in the Link’s rising tide, but I concealed it behind my perfectly still mask. I was lucky it happened while I was alone here in my quarters, where I was safe. I could use the practice. I focused, carefully relaxing each of my facial muscles into perfect, expressionless stillness, betraying nothing of the turmoil inside.
I’d glitched for a little over an hour. Precious silence in my head. Sometimes I could fight the creeping dullness of the Link, but I didn’t have any time to waste this morning. The glitching woke me an hour before my internal Link alarm, but if I didn’t get moving, I’d be late.
Still, I allowed myself to pause at the door to my quarters and smile defiantly for one last, fleeting moment before the Link made me forget what smiling was. I reached back to make sure my hair was secure, and my fingers brushed against the input port at the base of my neck. My smile dimmed. It was the same port we all had implanted at birth: slim, less than half an inch long, and only millimeters wide. I knew from looking at other people’s ports that thin subcutaneous wires with tiny lighted microfilaments swirled out in rectangular patterns on both sides, glowing visibly through the skin. The port connected straight into the V-chip at the base of the brain, enabling the Link connection.
I ran my fingers over the port, tracing the ridges nervously. What if there was something different about it? There was no way for me to get a good look at it, since we had no need of mirrors in the Community. Maybe the light filaments surrounding my neck port had stopped glowing, or changed color, or the port itself was noticeably damaged somehow. Something had to explain why I was different, why the glitches were happening to me. I hurriedly tugged on my long loose curls, arranging them carefully down the back of my neck and over the port, just in case.
I opened my door mechanically and walked five paces down the hallway to the largest room in our unit. The retina display readouts bounced at the edges of my vision, unnecessarily showing the schematics for the room: ten-by-ten-foot area, concrete walls, a simple table and four chairs, room enough to prepare food, eat, and at night pull down the wall equipment to exercise. A healthy body means a healthy Community. The phrase from the Community Creed sounded over the Link and seemed to ping around my skull.
Father was in the room, his back to me as he prepared breakfast. I lifted a hand to tuck a loose wisp of black hair behind my ear. Orderly.
“Greetings, Father.”
“Greetings, Zoel. Materials Allotment duty this morning, correct?” He didn’t look up from the protein patties he was taking out of the thermal unit. He dished the patties and equal portions of hard bread onto four white plates.
“Correct, Father.” I picked up the plates and set them equidistant on our tiny square table, perfectly aligned in front of the four chairs. Markan, my sibling, was already sitting down, staring blankly at the wall, no doubt zoning out to the video and audio feed of the Link News playing in the million silent theaters of everyone’s heads.
I glanced cautiously at him. He was thirteen, four years younger than me. He’d already set out silverware and napkins folded into neat, orderly triangles. Order first, order always. I studied his face, looking for a trace of the smile I’d been secretly drawing in my room this morning. We didn’t look alike, but I could see bits and pieces of our parents’ features in his face, features carefully selected and manufactured at the laboratory from the blend of perfect gene partners. He favored our father, with a wide nose and thin lips, but his round cheeks betrayed his youth.
His expression was blank. Detached. No trace of a smile or any emotion. Watching him felt like looking at an empty room—the walls and furniture were all perfectly in place, but it had no life.
Did I look like that when I was lost in the Link? The question was my own, a wisp of smoke snaking through the foggy cloud of the Link. After glitching, reconnecting with the Link was like a sliding door closing over my mind, severing my connection to my own thoughts. But if I focused intensely on a few specific details, it was possible to let just a sliver of myself slip through the crack. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t, but with enough practice I planned to eventually find a balance between myself and the Link. With that tiny inch of control, maybe one day I’d be able to control when I glitched. I could keep the glitches to myself, safe from witnesses. Safe from possible deactivation. This morning was my most successful practice yet. It had been ten minutes since I’d stopped glitching, and I could still hear the occasional whisper of my passing thoughts amid the constant din of the Link News.
My gaze settled back on my brother. My emotions were still almost completely dulled by the Link now, but I felt my stomach twist ever so slightly as I watched him. It was a strange mixture of feelings I couldn’t sort out—sadness and pain and happiness all at the same time, blinking into sharp focus one moment and then slipping away into Link numbness the next.
The feelings had started only after I started glitching. The word sibling had begun to feel like more than just a word. I imagined looking at Markan and taking his hand, protecting him from harm. It was impossible, I knew. Just one more of the many things I couldn’t change. But deep inside I clung to the hope that one day I might see his face light up with the same warmth, the same life, that I had drawn on his face this morning.
*   *   *
Market Corridor. The hub of our underground city. The subway train had stopped with a hiss of brakes, exchanging passengers promptly every quarter hour. I breathed in and looked around me. It was overcrowded as always, but subjects entered and exited the train in evenly spaced, perfect lines. Order first, order always. Light green schematics and readouts laced the edges of my vision, analyzing measurements and quantities. I exited the subway, turned eighty degrees, and moved twenty paces toward the Bread Supplement Dispensary line.
The Corridor was an expansive tunnel with high, rounded gray ceilings that echoed with the methodical sound of shoes on pavement and the high trills of machinery. There was a muffled hum as subjects carried on short, efficient conversations and waved their wrists over ID scanners. Dispensaries lined both sides of the Corridor, providing everything a healthy subject could ever need—clothing, toiletries, protein supplements, hard bread, beans, rice, occasional allotments of fresh fruits and vegetables.
I’d let myself fade to gray for the ride here. Individual thoughts had grown hazy around the edges. Unique sights and smells were overcome by a block of unisensory experience. The sliding door of the Link had closed completely. It always did, eventually.
I proceeded to the stack of lightweight collapsible carts and unfolded one, catching a glimpse of dull blue out of the corner of my eye. Several Regulators were stationed against the far wall of the platform. Their hulking forms kept silent watch wherever large numbers of subjects congregated, impossible to miss with their blue coveralls and intimidating bionic additions. For all regular subjects the inserted hardware was discreet, but the Regulators had large, glinting metal plating over their necks and arms for protection. Protection from what, I couldn’t say.
I’d never given the Regulators much thought before, but now whenever I glitched I found them terrifying. Maybe it’s because they were looking for anomalies, for things out of order. Things like me.
I looked away, my face as blank as those surrounding me. The Regulators scanned the crowd, their heads turning in methodical, measured movements. Their eyes did not follow me when I passed by.
Three rising tones sounded in my head, signaling the start of the Link News. For a few seconds, all subjects froze in place. People stopped midstep, the allotments workers paused with their arms outstretched, holding boxes of food and supplies. Total, hushed silence. The only movement was a fallen bean spinning at a man’s feet.
Then, right after the three long tones ended, the movement began again as if it had never stopped. The Link News feed reeled out in mechanic monotone: Flu 216 vaccinations available next week in local Sector Six dispensary. Continuing water shortages in Sector Three. Chancellor Supreme of Sector Five visits to discuss trade agreements. Beware anomalies: an anomaly observed is an anomaly reported. Order first, order always.
Anomalies. They were talking about me. Glitching meant something was broken inside me. I’d remembered seeing other subjects behave anomalously before. One time at the Academy a girl had started screaming uncontrollably, leaking water from her eyes. The Regulators spotted her and dragged her away and she came back the next week in complete working order. Better than new. If I reported myself, they would just fix the anomaly. I should report myself and get fixed. I needed to be fixed.
But then again—another memory floated to the surface—there was the other boy, the one who’d been taken away several times for anomalous behavior. I could still see his face, see him screaming and running. The Regulators had chased him down, tackled him to the ground. They’d broken his nose and there was so much blood …
The memory came with a jolt of fear, bursting temporarily through the solid Link barrier that kept my emotions silenced. I almost gasped, only barely managing to suppress it at the last moment. This had never happened before. Normally once the Link had taken complete control, I felt and thought nothing until I glitched again days or weeks later.
Inside I flailed in panic, trying desperately to keep every muscle twitch, every shift of my eyes completely under control as the fear pulsed through me. I didn’t dare turn my head, but I looked around as discreetly as possible at the people near me in line. The small aluminum circle under the skin of my chest, my heart and vitals monitor, vibrated slightly in response to my increased heart rate.
The subjects nearby hadn’t noticed the buzzing—they were too zoned out to the Link—but I knew that if I didn’t get my panic under control immediately, the monitor would start a loud beeping alarm, alerting the huge crowds of Market Corridor that I was anomalous, possibly defective. The Regulators I had passed moments before would drag me away. Would I be like the girl, and come back all fixed and never glitch again? Or would I be like the boy, and never come back at all? The questions only made the panic rise higher.
The Link News had ended and another three rising tones sounded to initiate the Community Creed. I took a deep breath and mentally repeated along with it: The Community Link is peace. We are Humanity Sublime because we live in Community and favor above all else order, logic, and peace. Community first, Community always.
I repeated the creed over and over again in my mind to lose myself in the soothing dullness of repetition. I blinked slowly and tried to slow my heartbeat to match. I’d practiced this. I could do this. My face remained still, though a bead of sweat started to slide down the side of my face.
If I triggered the monitor, it would be recorded at Central Systems. Individual anomalies were not usually cause for an immediate removal, since heart-monitor alarms were more often caused by pain than malfunctioning hardware. Pain was one thing we were still able to feel, because it was necessary to safety; otherwise alloy workers would burn their fingers off by touching a hot kiln and not feeling it. But repeated malfunctions, or a single clearly anomalous event, would have any subject taken away. A malfunction in such a public arena, where I was clearly not in pain, would definitely count as a single clearly anomalous event.
I repeated the mantra over and over, holding my breath and focusing on relaxing my facial muscles as carefully as I could without drawing attention. It seemed to take hours, but eventually I felt the vibration of my heart monitor slow, and then go still. Fear was replaced by relief. I didn’t know how close I had gotten to setting off the alarm, and I didn’t want to know. The sudden small crack that had opened in my mind with the rush of fear began to close, slowly shutting off sensation and returning me to the safe embrace of the Link.
“Subject,” said a voice gently behind me, “move forward.”
I looked up. The line had moved ahead but I’d stayed still, focusing on the Community Creed. I hurried forward, giving a glance backward at the boy who had spoken.
He seemed about my age, tall and lanky with skin the color of warm brown bread crust, but as the Link continued to dim my last slivers of sensation, it was his eyes that caught me with a jolt. They were a translucent aquamarine green and they looked vibrant and alive. Even with the mounting grayness of the Link, I could still see—see the uniqueness of the color flickering at the edges of his pupils. The next second, he looked away, gazing straight ahead like everyone else.
I turned around and faced forward, alarmed by the strange flush that was creeping up my neck. I wondered if the boy behind me could see it. I wondered what it meant.
I was hopeless at understanding and controlling all of these new emotions. I’d looked them up in the history text archive and was working slowly to build a catalog. Most of the history texts described how each dangerous emotion had led to the nuclear destruction of the Surface, the Old World. So far, some of the emotions hadn’t seemed as terrible as the texts described. Except maybe fear.
Fear was the first feeling I recognized, and eventually I could differentiate fear and not-fear, good feelings from bad ones. I also started dreaming. Almost every night I dreamt of that boy who kept glitching—his screams, the look on his face, the way his body crumpled to the ground; he haunted my nights. Sometimes in the dreams, he was screaming my name. He never came back to the Academy. He was deactivated. It wasn’t meant to be scary, or a punishment. Subjects weren’t supposed to be able to feel fear or guilt. It was just a fact. When something was too broken to fix, or too defective to contribute to the Community, deactivation was the only logical solution.
My six-month hardware checkup was coming up in two weeks and they would run diagnostics on all my hardware and check my memory chip. All of my training and practice was leading up to that moment, and I needed to be able to control myself and not glitch during a diagnostic exam. Part of me knew they would most likely discover my malfunctions anyway. It was only a matter of time before they scanned my memory chip and found the evidence of my glitching, the drawings, and the … other thing, the secret that was far too big, far too terrible, to hide.
“Greetings,” said the man behind the Bread Dispensary counter. I looked up, realizing I’d reached the front of the line.
“Greetings,” I said. “Bimonthly allotment.”
He nodded, pulling a box from the top of the stack behind him. He gestured at the small instrument at the side of the window. I lifted my hand and waved my wrist in front of it, hearing the small beep that meant I’d registered and the allotment would be subtracted from my family’s account in Central Records. I slid the three boxes over the counter and stacked them neatly in my cart.
I moved away, careful to keep my face blank. Later, when I glitched again, I would remember the paper they wrapped around the bread. It was perfect for drawing. Three boxes of bread meant twelve pages. It was too risky drawing on my digi-tablet—every mark I made would be stored in memory. But the paper could be hidden. Paper could be secret. Like the stack tucked away in my mattress.
I pulled my cart behind me and headed over to the next line, the Protein Dispensary. I gazed at the rich dark brown of the protein patties. Color. The first time I’d glitched was at the Academy when I noticed another student’s bright orange-red hair. I’d frozen in place as the shocking color first broke through the interminable gray, bobbing brightly through the crowd of gray heads marching down the corridor. It had only lasted for a moment, thirty seconds at most, but it stirred something in me. Something new.
Then the glitches started happening more often and lasting longer. I’d notice the deep green of a spinach leaf, the smooth browns and creams of people’s differing skin tones, hair, eyes … I inadvertently glanced backward in the direction I’d last seen the green-eyed boy, but he was gone. That was a completely new color to add to my short list.
Emotions were the next thing that came with the glitches, and they still made no sense to me. Like how, after an especially bad nightmare, I’d walk through the darkened housing unit and slide my brother’s door open gently and watch him sleep, his face relaxed, his arm slung over his head. Watching him made this stinging sensation come from behind my eyes and my chest would tighten until I could barely breathe. It wasn’t happiness and it wasn’t sadness. I still didn’t know what to call it. It made me feel like I needed to make sure he was safe.
But safe from what? The Community was the safest place that ever existed. The only danger in this world was me. The guilt of glitching was like a shadow, following me everywhere.
I stepped forward in line as the subject ahead of me moved. The barbaric Old World was once full of people like me. There was a whole race of humanity full of all the emotions and desires that I felt, people who almost destroyed the Earth with greed and anger and hate and indifference. They warred until the clouds rained toxic ash, the chemicals making people’s eyes boil in their sockets and their skin peel off like cooked potato skins. So much toxic material that we could never go back to the surface. Our history texts showed detailed pictures of the process, a detailed reminder of the horrors of the Old World.
Those who had foreseen had begun the tunneling down, the orderly planning of humanity’s future. Only a small percentage survived. We were a logical, orderly race—the descendants of survivors who had seen the worst of human emotion and destruction. We had learned the lessons of the past and finally scrubbed out the animal in man. We protected ourselves, blotted out the things that made us dangerous, and rebuilt. The First Chancellor called us Humanity Sublime. We lived by order and logic alone. We lived in Community.
And here I was, a traitor tucked secretly within the safe walls of the Community. A single person cultivating the same emotions that destroyed the Surface forever. I was like a ticking bomb, and it was just a matter of time before the evilness of human emotion took control. How much would I destroy before they caught and stopped me? I should go report myself.
Right now.
Right this instant.
I looked around. The Regulators were only ten paces away, rotating slowly and efficiently as they patrolled the crowds in their thick metal boots. Just a few words and I’d be free of all the secrets and lies.
It would be easy. It was the right thing to do. I’d be free from these weighty secrets. I could become a functioning member of the Community again.
My hands dropped from the cart handle. My legs took a few steps toward the closest Regulator, mechanically, almost as if they had been waiting for this moment to finally arrive.
But, wait. I couldn’t.
There was a reason I didn’t want to. A very important reason. I blinked several times until I remembered. There was the thing—the one thing they couldn’t find out about, or else they would destroy me, deactivate me.
But the Community always comes first.…
I was an anomaly, a danger to the Community. I needed to be repaired. I turned again toward the Regulators, waiting to catch their attention and report myself. There was a murmur of dissent in the back of my mind, but it was too quiet compared to the strong clear stream of information flowing through the Link.
A Regulator had reached the end of a dispensary line and was turning slowly back to head in my direction. In a few paces, his head would sweep in my direction. I would calmly catch his attention and report myself for diagnostics. Just a few paces more.
But suddenly the quiet voice inside my mind was screaming. And then, like being underwater and then breaking to the surface, I was suddenly glitching.
The retina display flickered and disappeared from view, and the sound echoing through my mind stopped, midstream, and I was left in silence. I could breathe again. I felt myself expand in the same moment, color and sound and sense flooding back in, overwhelming me with a rush of smells and sounds.
Beside me, I heard a loud crash.
I turned in surprise and saw that two full carts nearby had toppled over sideways, knocking into an aisle of stacked boxes. A stack tipped over, the boxes breaking open and spilling rice all over a nearby subject’s shoes. He looked down for a moment before moving out of the way dispassionately.
No one else registered surprise. They weren’t capable of it. But I was, and I felt every inch of surprise and dread and terror. Emotions flooded in. It was all too fast and I couldn’t tell if I was masking one emotion before the next rose up.
One thing was sure—I was malfunctioning way too much for such a public place. Someone was bound to notice and report me. I had to get out of here. Now. I didn’t care that I hadn’t gotten all of our allotments. I felt too frantic to stay crowded in this flood of gray-suited bodies, watching them placidly kneel down to clean up the spill while I was choking inside. I tightened my grip on my cart to hide the tremor of fear in my hands.
The Regulator had made his way over to investigate the spill. He scanned the crowd, but most of the subjects had already moved away, stepping around the spilled rice and moving on to the next line. I cautiously followed suit, tugging my cart out of line and heading toward the subway. It was only then that I realized that I had glitched right as the carts were knocked over.
Electromagnetic carts malfunctioned all the time. Not all the time but surely they did sometimes. I mean, there was no reason to think the spill had anything to do with me.
The sleek black subway train arrived at the platform just as I pulled my cart close. I stepped on, glad for the distraction, and moved to an empty space along the far wall. The communication panel under the skin of my forearm lit up as I touched it, and I quickly messaged my parents that I wasn’t feeling well and hadn’t been able to pick up all the allotments. I knew it meant I would have to undergo a health screening when I got home, but I would explain that I’d simply forgotten to take my daily vitamins with me. I took my daily vitamins out of my pocket and tossed them discreetly into a waste dispenser.
I envisioned the way the lie would fall so easily from my lips. I was getting better and better at it. It had been such a strange thing at first, to say the opposite of what was true. To defy and disobey clear orders in the Community Code, even by my silence. An anomaly observed is an anomaly reported.
I swallowed hard, looking around me in the unusual silence, the Link absent from my mind. Everything was so much sharper without the Link fogging me—sights, sounds, smells. It was exhilarating and shocking and terrifying. I knew my emotions had grown too strong. They were dangerous to the Community. They were dangerous to me.
But still, I wanted color. I wanted to soar with happiness even if it meant dealing with the weight of fear and guilt, too. I wanted to live. And that meant that I couldn’t give the glitching up. At least not yet. Just a little bit longer, I’d told myself each day in the beginning. Maybe I’d report myself tomorrow. But then each tomorrow had become another not today, and now after two months, I still hadn’t reported myself. As much as I might not like it, lies and secrets were my way of life now.


 
Copyright © 2012 by Heather Anastasiu


Continues...

Excerpted from Glitch by Heather Anastasiu Copyright © 2012 by Heather Anastasiu. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 33 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2012

    Congrats on a fail of a story, but nice idea

    Point a) there was kissing within the first 80 pages and everything was so cheesy I felt the need to dip a tortilla chip in it. The main charactor felt like bits and pieces of charactors smashed together. It was like she had this great ability and yet eternally felt the need to bury her face in someone's chest and cry. I can imagine her more as a powerpuff girl than a dystopian novel heroine. It was like the author was trying to create someone strong but had no idea how so just winged it and failed like an ill-prepared for final.
    Point b) the plot was about as bland as hospital food. Once again the author tried, and just couldn't seem to cut it. It switched it up nicely, but no new ideas were introduced and it felt forced and didn't have the realism you'd like in a clever story.
    Point c) not only was the main character poor but there were two male mains who one of them, Adrien, seemed like the author's personal fantasy and the otjer one was extremely abusive in every sense of the word and didn't serve any purpose in the novel other than exhaust the reader. The author tried to write a dystopian novel and a romance and sucked like a hoover vaccum. Also it seemed like she threw in an unexpected pregnancy for one of the side charactors as an attempt to shake up the story, but by the time that happened i was already way bored.
    To sum it up: DONT SPEND YOUR MONEY ON THIS NOVEL IT REALLY ISNT WORTH THE TEN BUCKS THEYRE CHARGING. If you want a good dyatopian read article five, enders game, legend and divergent. They are all way better than this.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 17, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Chapter by Chapter's review of Glitch

    How would I describe Glitch? I would call it a Dystopian type Sci-Fi read. Glitch describes a world somewhere in the 23rd century where people live under the surface of the earth. Humans no longer have a mind of their own. To rid humanity of feeling and emotion, they are implanted with a computer chip. But for some of the younger citizens in the Community, their chip malfunctions causing them to glitch. It is during these glitching periods that they can actually see real colour, feel emotions, and be free. But that’s not all, for when someone starts to glitch, they tend to have an unusual power such as shape shifting, xray vision, telekinesis.

    Such is the case for main protagonist Zoe (aka Zoel). Zoe has been glitching, but to be caught as glitching or showing anomalous behaviour would mean that she would need to go in for diagnostic testing or worst case scenario…deactivation.

    After being called into a sublevel to be checked due to anomalous behaviour, Zoe finds herself in a pretty terrifying predicament. The individual she finds in the room who is supposed to do her diagnostic check is not your everyday servicer. He is wearing the clothes of an Official…A high ranking official no less. After putting something into her access port behind her neck, Zoe finds herself unable to defend herself against the advances of this Official.

    Fear not fellow readers…enter Adrian on his white horse! Ok, no horse but still ENTER ADRIAN to save the day! And save the day he does! Adrian shows her another life that is possible for her and all other glitchers. A life of freedom. But with the Uppers, Regulators, and the new Chancellor of the Academy breathing down their necks, will Zoe and her fellow glitchers ever get a chance at being free?

    Glitch was an action packed read that left the question “Who the heck do you trust?” running over and over again in your mind. The multiple plot twists and turns that author Heather Anastasiu has weaved into this book is one that will keep you turning the pages until the very end.

    This world created by Ms. Anastasiu was one that was reminiscent of a mixture of the movie The Stepford Wives meets a Twilight Zone episode. It was one that you could easily find yourself immersed in. The vivid details used by Ms. Anastasiu made it all the more easier to imagine the surroundings and imagine a life within this new world and Community.

    The characters created were wonderfully written and easily likeable. Although there was a bit of instant love, it was more of a one sided instant love as Adrian has slowly been falling in love with Zoe through he many visions of her. Max was a character that I had loved to hate to love! His role in Glitch was one that kept me on my toes, which made the read all that more exciting. I love it when an author pours so much personality into her characters that you hate them when characters in the novel hate them, and love them when said characters love them.

    I would recommend this book to fans of a different type of Sci-Fi read with a Dystopian twist. I can’t wait to see what Heather Anastasiu has up her sleeve for the next installment.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 13, 2013

    Glitch was a very Highly Anticipated book for me! I've had it si

    Glitch was a very Highly Anticipated book for me! I've had it sitting on my bookshelf for months, just waiting to be read! But with so many great books releasing it just got put on the back burner! But finally I picked it up, and to be honest, in the beginning I was a little disappointed. It seemed to drag for a while, but after I got to about the halfway mark I was hooked! I was lost in this Amazing Science Fiction, Dystopian, world that was sickening, yet captivating! I was horrified at they way these humans were being treated like drone slaves. And the saddest part was that they thought they were being saved! That this was the only way for them to live as one without society turning on each other! I couldn't imagine a world like Glitch!

    In the beginning their wasn't that much happening and it seemed kinda slow and I was tempted to give up on it. Then I decided to read on, and that's when I became lost in this sickening world that these Drones lived in, and I just had to have more! It turned out to be everything I could of hoped for! And I am so happy I didn't give up on Glitch, because I would of missed out on an amazing series!


    THE PLOT:

    The world has been destroyed and taken over by the Uppers, the ones that turned there once beautiful world into a underground robotic slave ground with Computerized Drones, where humans are inserted with internal hardrives that control them, Completely wipe away any trace of human emotion or feeling. You only live to be a robotic slave and do as your internal link in your head tells you too!

    When your born you are inserted with and internal hardrive that is hooked to the brains main function that will control your every move, your every thought, you have no desires, no needs, besides the ones you NEED to keep you alive. The sad part about it is that they think its what's keeping them safe and alive!

    These people are brainwashed and controlled by the Chancellor and the Uppers. There the only ones not controlled by an internal link. They feel and have control of themselves, they are the ones that turned this once thriving world into a walking nightmare! And they are determined to keep it that way!

    Zoel or Zoe as she's called for short is one of the robotic humans living in the underground environment that the Uppers created after D-Day. The day when the world went into chaos! The day that nuclear bombs when off and destroyed the world above ground. That's when the Uppers took control and got all the survivors under ground safely. Then the took advantage of the remaining survivors by telling them that the only way to survive was with the internal hardrives inserted in them. And that's the day everything changed!

    Now Zoe, a new generation is living like everyone else, completely zoned out and controlled by the link! But Zoe's different, she glitches! She is able to have little spurts where she is able to break free of the link and control herself completely! And its these glitches that have also gave Zoe a special ability. She is able to move things with her mind! She has telekinesis abilities and she doesn't know what to do with them or these glitches she's having, and she's starting to lose her mind! That is until the boy with the Aqua green eyes swoops in and saves her from being deactivated. Then Zoe finds a whole new world she knew nothing about! And whatever Zoe once believed before is changed forever!

    There's a Resistance that's been fighting back for years! Secretly obtaining information and getting to Glithers before they get caught and become deactivated (Killed). They are slowly building their Resistance numbers to eventually fight back and take back what once was theirs, their lives! Some Glitchers have been blessed with different abilities and the Resistance hopes they will come in use when its time to fight back!

    Zoe slowly gets recruited into the Rez (Resistance) and is preparing to make her escape with other Glitchers! But as events unfolded and there world comes crashing down on them, they slowly realize there is more to this whole thing then they once thought! Secretes come to light, People are revealed, and Zoe realizes that this fight is bigger then she ever imagined!

    Time is running out and the Chancellor is getting close! If they don't make a move soon, then they might not make it out ALIVE....

    I enjoyed this book more then I thought I would! The ending blow me away and had me so engrossed in the twist and turns and surprises that were around every corner!

    I will definitely be finishing this series, and would highly recommend this book. It was so good that I'm even thinking about picking up the next book in the series Override now, But I have so many books to R2R, I just need more of the world that Heather created in the Glitch series!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 21, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    What can I say about this book? I had fairly high hopes for it,

    What can I say about this book? I had fairly high hopes for it, and I guess that's on me, but it really didn't live up to my expectations. The characters were weird and one-dimensional, the world building was poor, all in all it really wasn't what I wanted it to be.

    There were some positive things, though, that I can locate:
    - It was a creative idea. Compared to the other distopian books I've read it seemed promising. It wasn't going to be about how dating wasn't allowed, which was a big plus, because that idea is over used.
    - It did deliver the twists that it promised. A lot of books get blurbs talking about the great twists, but then you read them and everything is totally predictable, this book really did have a bunch of twists.

    But the negatives really outweigh them:
    - Characters:
    - Zoe: Can you say "Special Snowflake Syndrome?" Because that's what she had. And I'm not just talking about the glitching, either, a lot of kids had that. There was even a time when she was resistant to the mind control that everybody else fell victim to. Bella much?
    - Max: I wanted to punch him in the face. He wouldn't leave Zoe alone with his ideas about his "passions" and he kept trying to kiss her and sleep with her, even after she repeatedly said no. He kept threatening to kill Adrien, because Zoe loved Adrien and not him. What a jerk. Plus he needed to get his anger in check. I know emotions are new to him, and all, but he needs anger management.
    - Adrien: Please stop saying "crackin'" and "shunt" and "godlam'd" If you can't use real swear words, don't say any swear words at all, or at least real fake words like "bloody hell" or "crap". I'm begging you. The worst part was that there was hardly a time when he could get out two sentences without one of those stupid words.
    - Molla. Why is she even here? I feel like her only purpose was to make Max seem like a horrible person. But that doesn't make sense, he's supposed to be part of the love triangle, isn't he?

    - World building:
    I really never got a sense as the the way their society worked. I couldn't tell if people weren't supposed to show any emotion, or if a little was okay? There were times when I was sure that their behavior would surely get them reported, because surely somebody would notice this group of kids who had facial expressions, right? I guess that was sort of explained later, but it was still odd. Even more than that, I felt like I only got a surface understanding of their society, which was not enough to make me attached to the book.

    - The memory loss thing:
    This was maybe the thing that bothered me the most about the plot. When Adrian took Zoe up to the surface, with the thing still plugged into her, and then she didn't remember because it stored the memories externally. That was, I don't know how to describe it, but it didn't work. You can make Zoe forget, but you can't make the readers forget, and then we have to spend the rest of the book knowing what she forgot, but she's just confused.

    - Insta-love:
    It happened three times. And there are two love interests. Although the stuff with Max was a bit less "love" but it was still so fast and awkward. And with Adrian? "I had a vision of you, so its like I already know you" you can save it. Its still insta-love, and its still ridiculous.

    However, as much as it pains me to say this, despite all of my complaints about the book, it wasn't bad enough to discourage me from reading the rest.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 20, 2012

    As a fan of Paranormal and Dystopia books I found Glitch to be a

    As a fan of Paranormal and Dystopia books I found Glitch to be a perfect
    combination of both. This enjoyable book was one I did not want to put
    down after the first chapter. I love the way Ms. Anastasiu created this
    unique dystopian world. The building up of the plot and the depth of the
    characters were just right. Zoel is basically like a drone, just like
    the humans in her Community. Everyone is implanted with certain kind of
    hardware that keeps them calm and at peace. If you start glitching
    (thinking or feeling for yourself) you are supposed to report it so you
    can either be reprogrammed or deactivated. Zoe starts glitching but
    chooses to try and hide it. She soon learns she also has a strange gift
    as well. She then discovers that she is not alone, that there are others
    out there glitching as well. This dystopian adventure does have a bit
    of romance in it. Zoe meets two boys who have feelings for her. First
    there is Adrian works with the Resistance and can see the future. Then
    there is Max a new glitcher who is also a shapeshifter. This love
    triangle only adds to the emotional journey Zoe goes through in order to
    survive with her new understanding and awareness. I think Glitch is a
    wonderful and entertaining book and I am looking forward to reading the
    next installment of this new series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2014

    ה

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2014

    Syren

    A girl about 14 steps out of the mist. Her light briwn hair falls to her waist d her merald eyes dart around. Her bones stand out too much

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2014

    Jade

    She waks in her hands in her pockets " hello"

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2014

    Xelinia

    Yay! Ok. Thank you!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2014

    Summer

    Kk

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2014

    Colin

    Imma back.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 4, 2013

    I enjoyed the Young Adult Dystopian future story. It is a fast

    I enjoyed the Young Adult Dystopian future story. It is a fast and interesting read with several twists along our protagonist's journey. I have the next book in my queue.
    The protagonist feels like a real girl with real feelings in her situation. Give it a try

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2013

    Blade

    Fine I give in

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 8, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I think it¿s hard to come up with a unique dystopia novel becaus

    I think it’s hard to come up with a unique dystopia novel because the concept is that in some way the world has crumbled and more common than not there is an oppressive government. I found this novel to particularly interesting by the way the author has taken that managed to twist it such different ways. Our main character Zoel is part of the Community. The Community implants chips into all its members to prevent them from being able to feel any emotions, saying this is the only way that peace can be preserved. Our bodies are strange things and with or without emotions they can recognize something unnatural inside of them. With this it finds a way to evolve and adapt to get around the foreign hardware. Which is where Glitchers come in, the Glitchers are those who experience anomalies, which is basically moments when their emotions override the hardware and break through.
    Zoel or Zoe as she really likes to be called is an interesting character. This is someone who was void of emotion and now is experiencing everything for the first time. She could simply report herself and get “fixed” but instead she chooses to hide and ride out her glitches. The novel is about seeing her grow and mature in a short amount of time because her emotions are flooding in.
    I think the romance in this book was interesting. I understood the dreaded love triangle and why it happened. Even though we do experience some insta-love there is also kind of a bump in that road. What if all that could be wiped away, would you find out it was really just lust or would it still be love.
    I liked Adrien, he’s strong and not afraid to fight for a cause. Typically good for one of the male love interesting and even though I like him over Max, I found Max fascinating. Max kind of has his moments of bad guy/ good guy and I think he fits well what it might feel like for 17 year old boy to suddenly hit puberty because for him that’s what it was. Before he didn’t have any emotions and now he has all these raging hormones and the choices he makes reflect that.
    I enjoyed the fact that rather than escape from the controlling society they end up having to go back in. Not only that but they have a desire to fight it. Just to do it. I feel like a lot of dystopia novels the characters have to have something they want in order to. I liked the character development and the confusion of who is a villain and who is not.
    I of course loved the cover. It actually fits the story. I really enjoyed this dystopia.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2013

    This was way better than I expected! I can't wait for the next

    This was way better than I expected! I can't wait for the next book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2013

    The premise of this book was so clever and amazing. I read it in

    The premise of this book was so clever and amazing. I read it in a very short time and am very very excited to find out what is going to happen in the next book. Also the cover art is so gorgeous!

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  • Posted December 26, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I wanted to love this. It has everything going for it really.

    I wanted to love this. It has everything going for it really. But, in all reality it fell a little short of it's mark for me and just ended up being another book in the dystopian genre.

    I liked the characters for the most part. Zoe is interesting to watch as she observes the world around her through new eyes. She's experiences everything according to how the Community feels she should see it. She's been deprived of any emotional response. It's one things I enjoyed because it made me realize how the simple things can be taken for granted. I liked Adrien because he doesn't rush Zoe. He acknowledges that this is all new to her and extremely overwhelming. It's got to be hard to ground himself considering all he thinks she could be. I disliked Max, but he's so typically teenage male that I almost felt sorry for him as well. Teenage male is not what I would want to all of a sudden start experiencing with no warning (and no guidance).

    I really had the most difficulty with the storyline. We know Zoe is glitching, but occasionally she's still plugged into the feed. Since the story is told for her point of view, I had a hell of a time telling the difference. I understood more of how it was like to be plugged in by her description of those around her. I'm way to much of a scientific person, and this really made no sense to me. It bothered me a lot.

    I liked the idea of the resistance (is there always a resistance?). I was surprised that we meet some of them so soon. It was like a teaser of things to come. In the end that storyline didn't pan out anything like I had thought. There were some interesting twists to what was really going on. I liked that aspect of the story.

    In the end, I was really not convinced that the mind control could work in the manner presented. I'm not sure I'll continue the series. Will see when the next one pops up.

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  • Posted September 25, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    What a whirlwind this read was for me! I'm not sure I knew what

    What a whirlwind this read was for me! I'm not sure I knew what to expect going into it, but I came out really glad that I was given the chance to read this one. I've probably said this before, but I'll say it again...it's official....I'm a dystopian fan for sure! There's no doubt in my mind now when I get wind of a dystopian title that will be hitting the shelves, I immediately have to look into it. I'm not saying they're all the same and would all be to my liking, but I don't think I've come across one yet that I didn't fall in love with, this title included!

    Zoe's struggle to lay low and under the radar of the Uppers and those appointed to keep an eye out for individuals who display anomalous tendencies (i.e. showing any emotions whatsoever!) is not an easy task. And for a very long time she's doing this all alone with no one to talk to. But when more "glitchers" are thrown into the mix, readers, right along with Zoe will have a very hard time trying to figure out who is really on her side and who could possibly lead her astray. It's all packed full of adventure, anxiety and stressful situations that had me flipping through the pages at a pace I had trouble keeping up with on more than one occasion. But I couldn't slow down...I had to know what would happen next!

    So if you're looking for action, adventure and a little romance thrown in as well, I think this dystopian title will be right up your alley!

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  • Posted August 16, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Glitch totally surprised me. I was a bit wary at the beginning b

    Glitch totally surprised me. I was a bit wary at the beginning because
    many of my friends didn't enjoy it as much, but I am so glad that I did!
    Glitch was so fast paced! The book never had a dull moment, granted, the
    beginning needed a tiny push for the plot to flow, but after that, I
    could barely catch my breath! Now there is something I must admit, this
    book had insta-love. YES! Me, the crusader of insta-love actually liking
    a book WITH IT? Well let me just point out that the insta-love was so
    well plotted, the close proximity angle was used that you really forget
    the label of the romance and just enjoy it. HOWEVER there was a twist a
    third way into the book that I would have never imagined! Which is why I
    liked Glitch a lot, insta-love or not, this book was awesome. The
    protagonist, Zoe lives in a community where every single person is
    stripped from their emotion. Seeing life in color? Family loyalty?
    pshhh, feelings of joy, happiness, sadness, anger? we don't need those!
    We can just become robots and live a life of routine and voluntary
    slavery because that is the ideal world! However Zoe started to glitch.
    Meaning the chip that was inserted in her from birth started going
    haywire and she started to see colors instead of the usual shades of
    grey. She started thinking for herself and started freaking out, because
    any glitcher will be reported immediately, even by their own family. The
    saying is: "An anomaly observed is an anomaly reported"
    However that is when she meets Adrien, the mysterious guy that just
    might be on to her anomaly or maybe an ally? There is also a very weak
    love triangle (thank god) with Max. I just didn't like him at all
    because of uhh, his obsession with something that made me seriously
    weirded out by him. However the book doesn't leave much room for
    wondering since you dive right into action. I really loved Adrien, he
    was such a likable character! I also really enjoyed reading from Zoe's
    POV since she didn't shy away from having to find out the truth, even if
    it has hurt her more than once. Heather Anastasiu pulled out trick after
    trick and twist after twist that just made this novel so worth the time
    I read it and I really can't wait for the second installment in this
    series, Override.

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  • Posted August 15, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I received this book from St.Martin's Griffin for my honest revi

    I received this book from St.Martin's Griffin for my honest review. I
    haven't seen a lot of good reviews for this book. So, I was really
    hesitant to start reading this book. Most people said it was an OK book.
    It was more than OK for me but it was real confusing at first but then
    the story seemed to flow more smoothly. Zoel lives in a world where
    there no emotion. So it comes as a shock to her when she starts feeling
    emotions and seeing bright colors. She is amazed at first but then
    starts to panic b/c this means she is glitching. To make matters what is
    has an ability that she should not have. She then starts to wonder if
    there is anyone else out there like her. Zoel finds all her answers when
    she meets Adrien and her one friend Max. Will Zoel be able to save
    everyone from the Link or will she choose to save herself? This was a
    pretty good book nothing fancy. There was a little bit if action but I
    think there is going to be a lot more action in the second one. This
    book was just the beginning and what is yet to come. I very excited to
    see where this series will go. This book confused me as well. Not that I
    didn’t understand anything it was like what is going on and what is
    real. I was feeling the same way Zoe was. Is this real or not? Who can
    I trust? I could not figure out anything that was going to happen.
    That’s what I like the most. The not knowing what’s going to happen. Who
    wants to read a book and already figure out early on what’s going to
    happen? Zoel was a pretty good character. I liked her sometimes and the
    other times I didn’t. She was just so clueless and I get that b/c she
    never had feeling before but come on. She takes crap from everyone and
    goes into things without thinking these through. Adrien: I’m not in
    love with him like some guy character, but I did like him and there is
    something there. ;) I don’t really feel like I know him after this book.
    Hopefully we’ll learn more things from him in the next one. Max: I
    liked him before I got to know him. I thought he was going to be a real
    nice guy, but my first impression was WRONG. He is a complete jerk!!! He
    is abusive in every single meaning of the word. He is also obsessed with
    Zoel. Sure some people think it’s hot for someone to do just about
    anything to be with them, but he takes it too far. I was hoping he would
    learn from his mistakes and change, maybe in the next one he will.
    Overall, this was a pretty good book and I am highly anticipating the
    next installment.

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